Obituary: Douglas Stuckey

WR officers recently learned of the death in August of one of our oldest and most committed members, Douglas Frederick Lancelot Stuckey.  He was 99. Douglas entered active politics through Common Wealth (CW) in the early 1940s.  Before this, he had already taken an interest in the Spanish Civil War, becoming in due course the International Brigade Memorial Trust’s oldest supporter.  Through CW, he met Dora Heath, who, according to the Imperial War Museum when they interviewed her in 2007, was the only white woman recorded as helping in the segregated canteens for the US Army’s black soldiers.  In 1946, they began a marriage of 64 years, settling in Winchester, later Bracknell, and finally Wokingham.

In the 1950s, Douglas was adopted as CW’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Oxford but never stood.  He was CW’s last Chairman in the years leading up to its dissolution in 1993.  Douglas and Dora were introduced to WR in the early 1980s and both were long-serving members of the party council.  Their Wokingham address served for many years as the WR contact address.  Relatively stable, it also challenged any perception that Wessex might exclude Berkshire.

After retiring from a management role at the General Electric Company, Douglas pursued his already well-established interests in writing and publishing, especially on transport and “West Country” topics.  He ran his own imprint, Forge Books, and wrote for Wessex Books, producing their booklets on Ælfred, travel in Wessex, and one, ‘Wessex Rising!’, that linked Monmouth’s Rebellion and the Glorious Revolution. Besides supporting WR and regional devolution generally, he kept up a keen interest in industrial democracy.  He would often remind regionalists that decentralised political power must be matched by dispersed economic power if it is not to be undermined by stealth.

Despite his great age, Douglas’s mind remained sharp to the end. His intelligence, wealth of political experience, and generous hospitality at his home in Wokingham will be sorely missed by those of us who knew him.